Introduction to Post-Keynesian Economics & Political Economy
The Global Financial Crisis has demonstrated the limitations of mainstream economic theory and neoliberal economic policy. This workshop will introduce two of the main alternatives to orthodoxy – Post Keynesian Economics and Marxist Political Economy. Post Keynesian Economics has at its core the concepts of effective demand and distributional conflict: individuals face fundamental uncertainty about the future; there is a central role for ‘animal spirits’ in the determination of investment decisions; inflation is the result of unresolved distributional conflicts; money is an endogenous creation of the private banking system; unemployment is determined by effective demand on the goods markets; financial markets are prone to periodic boom-bust cycles. Marxist Political Economy is focused on the fundamental conflict between capital and labour on the basis of the conception of the capitalist mode of production. It characterises capitalist production as intrinsically unstable, with financial crises sometimes the prelude to, and sometimes the result of, a crisis of over-accumulation of capital. It stresses the use of mass unemployment as a key element of the ‘cure’ for these problems. Marxist analysis looks to value form analysis to trace fundamental developments in capitalism and emphasises the role of the state in organizing the political and economic hegemony of capital.
The workshop is aimed at students of economics and social sciences. As the aim of Post Keynesian Economics and Political Economy ultimately is to provide the foundation for progressive economic policies, it may of interest for a broader audience.